“Finding Freedom” is the story of how Erin French picked herself up by the bootstraps, begged, borrowed, scavenged, refurbished an old Airstream trailer and opened a popup, made a handshake deal for an abandoned gristmill in rural Maine and bit by bit, breathed a world-famous restaurant into life.
KNEADED: L.A. BREAD STORIES
At a buck apiece, everyone can afford puff-puff. “The one thing I always cry about and why I love Los Angeles is that the community we serve is not just one community…the African Chop Truck serves everybody.”
CURE IS A PARADOX
I think of those parts of me are burdensome and intolerable and must change, and the loving, laughing acceptance which takes them just as they are, joyfully, forever.
A KITCHEN GUEST
I thought I would have a heart attack and emitted a shriek just like in the movies. The head disappeared and I went to bed with a blanket stuffed around my bedroom door in case the thing crept up on me in the night and tried to eat me.
I’m embarrassed to admit that my eating habits are truly abysmal. I eat standing up, hunched over the kitchen counter; or while wandering through the apartment doing ten other things; or bent over my laptop answering emails, reading the paper, watching movies, researching and/or writing.
THE MIRACLE OF THE LOAVES AND FISHES
“You can picture the stage set: Christ, the Messiah, seated on top of the mountain: the crowds so far below they are literally at his feet. They have to crane their necks to see his face.”
GRATITUDE VERSUS COMPLAINING
The thing about complaining is generally other people don’t have the same complaints as you. They have other things–their own things–to worry about, and they’re having the graciousness not to impose them on you.
AWAKE O YE SLEEPERS
In shaky economic times I must say, I feel right at home. Right away I descend into bunker mentality mode. In fact, having grown up one of eight in a blue-collar home–our father was a bricklayer–I’m more or less always ready for a disaster. I have enough semolina, bulgur, wheat berries, polenta, brown rice, pearl […]
Last night we Californians got word that the whole state is in “lockdown”– allowed to leave our homes only for “essential” activities: food, supplies, medicine, doctor, work. All “non-essential” businesses ordered closed. I must say I am peculiarly well-formed for the cloister and in fact have lived like this for months at a time over […]
FRENCH FRIES AS MUSE
From an interview in Insight, the magazine of The Sisters of Life, with Dr. Michael J. Brescia, Executive Medical Director and co-founder of Calvary Hospital, to talk about his experiences at the Catholic palliative care facility and hospice in the Bronx. I heard that you were responsible for a famous invention. I joined the VA hospital in […]
THE SRIRACHA SAUCE EMPIRE
Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins: Sriracha sauce is a crown jewel of Southern California foodie culture. You’ve seen the plastic bottles. They’re filled with bright red sauce, emblazoned with a rooster, stamped with text in English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Chinese, and topped by a green squirt cap. For many, this blazing […]
BEYOND THE NOISE OF ANY POSSIBLE INTRUSION
I have had many months of “coping.” You know what I mean–day after day of administrative, car, computer, medical, and people snafus. Plus it is finally dawning on me, at my age many men and women have “retired!” That is not in the cards for me. I own no home. I have no spouse, no […]
REMEMBERING LA LEGEND JONATHAN GOLD
Jonathan Gold, the city’s beloved Pulitzer-Prize winning food writer, died on July 21. The cause was pancreatic cancer that had been diagnosed only weeks before. Gold, 57, was most recently the restaurant critic for the “Los Angeles Times.” But he was way more than a food critic. He was an LA treasure: erudite, articulate, eccentric, […]
I flew back to LA yesterday from Heathrow, my week in Oxford having been completed. In my mind, I divided the trip into segments, so as to mark progress along the way instead of pulsating with the ungodly thought that all told I was going to spend 18 hours or so in transit. There was […]